Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Purpose: The purpose of this dissertation study was to explore community college students’ experiences with open educational resources (OERs). These students were enrolled in biology courses during Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 at a community college in Southeastern Louisiana. Methodology: This study followed a mixed-methods research design to collect and analyze data about student experiences with OERs through a critical realist and neo-positivistic lens and the Technology Affordances Constraint Theory (TACT). Students completed a survey that assessed their satisfaction with OERs. The survey included demographic questions, Likert-scale items, and a qualitative item. An interview protocol was created using the TACT for implementation during Summer 2023. Theory and data triangulation positioned the findings in the literature and imparted credibility to the outcomes. Findings: Analysis of the quantitative data revealed students were generally satisfied with OER implementation in their biology course(s). Analysis of the qualitative data revealed four themes from students’ responses to the survey qualitative item and three overarching themes from the individual virtual interviews. These themes revealed students appreciated the convenience allotted by using OERs, value faculty integration of the OERs, and perceived the OERs as quality textbooks in comparison to traditional, printed textbooks. Implications: Future studies should consider societal benefits of an affordable education through social justice efforts, inclusion of diverse perspectives, and assessing actualized technology affordances.



Committee Chair

Sulentic Dowell, Margaret-Mary

Available for download on Wednesday, October 21, 2026